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My Mom's Zucchini Lasagna

Mom and my brother, George, in Naples

My mom, Angela, passed away in 1985. She was from Sicily and I was just really beginning to get into cooking when she died. A short time ago, I was flipping through an old Italian cookbook of hers and saw this recipe, written by her, in the back of the book:


I like vegetarian dishes a lot and so I thought I would give it a try. The amount of ricotta the recipe calls for seemed like a lot, so I scaled it back. It's really a delicious "lasagna" and it was great the next day, too. Thanks, Mom!



Angela's Zucchini Lasagna

for a printer friendly recipe, click here


  • 3 pounds large zucchini, scrubbed
  • 1 quart spaghetti sauce or thick tomato sauce
  • 1 cup bread crumbs *
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese (more, if you like - the original recipe calls for 2 pounds)
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated 


Slice zucchini into long slices. Cook in boiling water just until limp, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Combine ricotta, eggs, parsley, seasoning and half of the parmesan cheese and half of the bread crumbs in a bowl. Set aside.

In a 9x13 pan, spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with a quarter of the bread crumbs. Arrange layer of zucchini over this. Spoon half of the reserved ricotta mixture on top of the zucchini. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese. Arrange the rest of the zucchini over this, layer more tomato sauce and the rest of the bread crumbs and top with remaining ricotta mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until top is brown. Let stand 20 minutes before cutting.

* When using bread crumbs, try making your own. Take any kind of bread you like, even leftover stale bread that you may want to throw away, and place in your food processor and grind until fine. Keep in a plastic container in the fridge and they will last a long time. Fresh bread crumbs are superior to what you can buy in the grocery store.

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Reader Comments (78)

your mother must be looking down from heaven, and be very proud of what you are doing.
I just want to encourage you, and let you know that her handwriting recipe is a tribute for her.

August 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgina

just came a across this blog and liking it very much, and i've seen lots of them :) as a vegetarian, i'm always on the lookout for some great recipes that are filling and its always a bonus when it doesn't use alot of carbs, as much as love pasta, as a vegetarian, you automatically tend to eat more carbs to fill up. Will try this soon, and i had never heard of Potatoe pizza before getting on here, which i can't wait to try out! thanks! and your mom is just Lovely

January 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVeggilecious

I think the most painful part of this process was having to wait 20 minutes before cutting.

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

This Zucchini Lasagna was terrific! Thank you so much for sharring your recipe and memories. We have definately changed our favorite lasagna resipe to this one. Turned out great!

May 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrenton

I feel so fortunate to have stumbled onto your blog! I am very touched by the photos and memories you share of your mom, and I can verify that this Zucchini Lasagna is fantastic! My family thoroughly enjoyed it for dinner tonight and we're all slightly amazed that we didn't miss the noodles at all. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Superb! Also loved that it is not as labor intensive a many lasagnas.

June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl Mansson

I made this for dinner last night using the recipe as directed. Got the zucchini all sliced up easily on the mandolin. What a gem of a dish. This is definitely going to added to the do-again list. Many thanks for sharing such a great family recipe.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBobT

Yum, yum! I made this this on Sunday! Delicious!

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCara

A neighbor gave us several large Italian zucchini and we didn't know what to do with them. I found this recipe online and we made it tonight. DELICIOUS! I hope Angela was smiling watching us enjoy her recipe. Thanks for sharing, Elaine.

June 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

From The Italian Dish:

David: You made my day! Thank you.

June 22, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I made this on Sunday - it was amazing! I won't go back to noodles-based lasagna!

July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGi

I have just made this lasagna from fresh zucchini in my garden and it is the best recipe I have ever made thank you for sharing this god bless you and your mother

July 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

I printed this recipe out last weekend and have been waiting to try it on 3 of these mammoth-sized zucchinis. I am gluten intolerant, so when I saw this recipe, I couldn't wait to try it!
I am not a fan of boiling, so I first roasted them under the broiler with a little olive oil and salt to taste before putting my lasagna together. I used a quality pasta sauce I got at the public market that is gluten well as gluten free breadcrumbs I got in the specialty section at Wegmans (I am not entirely sure why they are in this recipe, but I'll try them). I am currently baking it in the oven now and it smells so utterly fantastic! I put foil on it for the first half to reduce the top from getting too brown, but will take it off the 2nd half of baking. I will let you know soon!!!!

July 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

From The Italian Dish:

Melissa: Hey, what a good idea to roast the zucchini. I think I may have to try that the next time I make this.

July 21, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I have to say...AMAZING! It turned out so much better than I had hoped - Thank you SO much for the will make being gluten intolerant much more bearable!

July 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Seeing your mom's handwriting inspired me to try your recipe. My mom is also a great cook, but her specialty is southern, not Italian. I am watching my weight, so I cut down on the cheese and used 1/2 cottage cheese and 1/2 ricotta, also used egg substitute. Even with those changes, this was a delicious dish, endorsed even by my carnivorous husband. At your insistence, I did make my own fresh breadcrumbs, actually out of whole wheat bread, and they were perfect. Thank you for posting this. And I hope I didn't make your mother roll over in her grave by using cottage cheese (I still tried to honor her by leaving in half the ricotta!)!

December 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

Of course being the new year, a group of friends are not wanting to really diet but focus on nutrition. Lasagna is one of my favorites. Your mom's recipe sounds and looks delicious! I am definitely going to try. I'd like to make this a couple of days ahead of time for an out of town trip and take to friends, but wondered how it freezes? Thanks! Glenda

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGlenda

I made this last night. I made 4 trays, all different as an experiment but this one was the consensus favorite. I didn't use bread crumbs because I didn't have any and it was snowy so I didn't want to go to store. I also don't boil regular lasagna noodles as I find that the tomato sauce cooks them just fine with a few extra minutes in the oven so I did the same with the zucchini. It came out great. Thanks for the recipe.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I made this recipe yesterday. Wonderful. Never made zuchinni lasagna before but my garden was full of zuchinni and tomatoes so this seemed an excellent choice. I am in agreement that 2 lbs. of ricotta seemed like a bit much. I don't like that ricotta can turn out dry tasting and so I always do a 1/2 and 1/2 of ricotta and sour cream. Worked great with this recipie. With my homemade tomato sauce and homemade breadcrumbs, this was delicious. Thank you for sharing!

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

This recipe seems to be exactly what I was looking for. I do have a question, though: Is it possible to assemble in the morning and refrigerate, then pop it into the oven in the evening? If so, should I alter the baking time at all? Thanks so much!

August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne C

I have made this a few times and I love it. The first time I emailed it to my whole family and told them to make it. My kids love it, my husband loves it, and I love it. Thank you for a great family meal!

December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I appreciated the cooking of the zucchini first before well as the warm embrace of your moms love for cooking. A wholesome mom is a wholesome cook! Keep to wholefoods and not much will go wrong. And, not too mMany hours in preparation is the key. Thank you!

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLydia Schmidt

This recipe was absolutely amazing :) Everyone absolutely loved it and it was a great way to use some of the zucchini from my garden. Definitely a hit with everyone who tried it and everyone asked when I was going to make it again :)
Thanks for sharing an amazing part of your family's history and your mom's recipe!!

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDana, Ohio

Thank you so much for this recipe! It's delicious. I used cottage cheese instead of ricotta and liked the change.

July 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I'm making this dish today, July 30th 2014. What a wonderful story is this, about your beautiful mom's recipe.
I will enjoy it with friends. It is the dish I'm taking wiith me tomorrow.
It smells wonderful.

Thank you for sharing.

The Netherlands

July 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMirta Perez

Sounds delicious! Do you think it would work without the breadcrumbs? We don't do bread...
Thanks so much!

May 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGracie

I made this for Sunday dinner - it was delicious! I grilled the lasagna after par-boiling as directed to get a little more moisture out of them. It gave the lasagna an additional layer of flavor. Love the bread crumb idea! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

July 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEllen J

Looks absolutely fantastic. Am trying tonight for dinner. The hardest part was cutting the long zucchini into uniform pieces. Mine were awful.
Anybody have tips on this?

June 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLourdes

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